SEO is one of the most popular terms in digital advertising. In order to ensure that you’ll be successful at it, we’ve put together your ultimate guide to SEO. This article gives you all the vital information and tips you might need to properly set up your SEO. Simply take a look below.
As anyone who has tried their hand at search engine optimization (SEO) will be painfully aware, there is no secret formula ready and waiting to push your website to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).
Consequently, implementing an effective SEO strategy can be complicated and time-consuming, requiring a considerable amount of hard graft. Once your efforts start to pay off, however, SEO can be an amazingly cost-effective and profit-boosting digital marketing technique. Indeed, it is a particularly clever method of web monetization.
With this in mind, the team here at Adcash has put together a brief guide to help you attract organic traffic and convert leads into sales. With over 200 factors affecting SERP rankings, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to SEO. However, by following these steps and getting to grips with a few popular SEO tools, you will boost your chances of creeping up the ranking of search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others.
These techniques can also be used in affiliate marketing campaigns designed to monetize blogs, for example.
First things first: Get to know your audience and your competitors
One of the best things about SEO is that it is highly targeted. Hence, it requires marketers to consider what sort of words and phrases their target demographics are likely to type into search engines, as well as the kinds of content that will keep them engaged. This ensures that your online advertising and marketing materials are viewed primarily by people who may be interested in your brand. You don’t want to gain a reputation as a spammy company that tries to reach anyone they can, after all.
To conduct helpful keyword research, you should start by thinking about the intent of your audience. Firstly, put together a list of potential phrases they might use to find the kinds of goods and services your company offers. After that, can then use tools such as Google Search Console, Google AdWords, Word Tracker, or Keyword Planner to discover which of these phrases are most commonly tapped into search bars.
On top of this, you should conduct a thorough competitor analysis. Take a look at the kinds of keywords that work for high-ranking competitors and try to emulate their process and, indeed, outdo them. This can be done with competitor analysis tools such as SEMrush, a program that offers gap analysis. As well as Screaming Frog, a tool that finds common key phrases on web pages. Taking a look at their Alexa ranking (alexa.com) is also a good way to gauge the popularity of your competitors.
Write with humans in mind
Whilst focusing on keywords is an important aspect of SEO, it can also make the content seem a little stilted or difficult to read. What’s more, search engines such as Google use algorithms that prefer high-quality content.
To drive online traffic, therefore, you will need to ensure that your content is readable and informative. One of the best ways to produce a steady stream of content is to set up a blog or news article section on your site. Moreover, there you can include brief opinion pieces, how-to guides, or top tip articles addressing hot topics that affect your industry. This will encourage search engines to favor your website and, if you post regularly, keep customers coming back for more.
Your on-page SEO optimization strategy checklist
Whilst creating high-quality content is an elusive art, there are a few simple rules you can follow to boost your SEO score.
1. Page titles
Your page title should be unique for every page of your site and needs to be different from its heading.
You should have one heading per page, each of which should incorporate the </h1> HTML tag. Also, if you would like to find out more about using HTML to boost your SEO score and increase traffic, check out this helpful article.
3. Use unique meta descriptions
Using unique meta descriptions for every page of your site will improve your SEO score.
4. Use unique keywords
Try to use unique and carefully selected keywords for every page of your site, ensuring not to overstuff them with popular words and phrases.
5. Incorporate keywords in headings, URLs, page titles and meta descriptions
Search engine algorithms favor this approach as it helps them to find the most relevant sites for users. Thus, try to use keywords that you think your target audience will be commonly searching for.
6. Optimize your images
This involves a number of techniques including formatting your images correctly, making them a decent size, and naming them with concise and relevant descriptions. In addition, you should try to incorporate keyword-rich image names. For more information on optimizing your images for the purposes of SEO, take a look at this useful guide.
7. Consider using emojis
It is easy to forget that web users can use emojis in search engine bars. However, if your target demographic is young and tech-literate, it may be worth incorporating emojis in your content to boost SEO efforts. For more help on emoji use, head to Search Engine Journal.
Your technical SEO checklist
SEO is about much more than producing high-quality content that is rich in keywords. Indeed, search engines bump websites up the rankings if they contain certain technical characteristics that improve user experiences. If you’re wondering how to increase traffic with technical SEO, you should take account of the following factors:
1. Site speed
If your website is slow to load, it will drop down the SERP rankings. To address this issue, try removing everything on your site that slows it down. This could include high-resolution images, for example, or large video files. You can test your site speed for free on sites such as Pingdom.
2. Install an SSL certificate
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology creates encrypted links between web servers and browsers, improving security for web users. SSL sites can be easily spotted as their URLs start with ‘https://’ rather than the standard ‘http://’. Therefore, installing an SSL certificate is particularly important if you own an e-commerce site.
3. Look out for broken links and redirections
Your site will move down the SERP rankings if it includes broken links or redirections. In this way, it is important to check that your web links are working on a regular basis. You can check whether your site includes redirections with this tool.
4. Mobile responsiveness
Ensuring that your website works on a range of devices including mobiles and tablets is an important aspect of SEO. Especially because people are increasingly using these devices in favor of PCs and laptops.
5. Avoid duplicate content
Search engines penalize websites that duplicate content either from elsewhere on the site or from other websites. In other words, avoid this at all costs.
6. Create a sitemap
Sitemaps help web users to find their way around your websites and are loved by search engine algorithms. That’s because they help users find their way around websites quickly and easily. Find out more about creating a sitemap here.
7. Make the most of robot.txt files
Robot.txt files are smart text files that tell web robots such as search engines which of your web pages they should be crawling. Undoubtedly, this is great for SEO purposes. Find out more here.
Incorporating a link-building strategy
Link-building is another aspect of SEO that you should pay attention to. It involves winning backlinks to your website on other company sites. You should also be including outbound links on your site that direct users to blogs or web pages hosted by reputable organizations.
How to achieve backlinks
To win backlinks, you will need to develop good relationships with other companies or sites. This means getting involved with online conversations and putting your brand out there on social media. It also involves creating high-quality content. To monitor backlinks, you can use the Google Search Console to search for links to your site.
Use tools such as Majestic, MOZ and Ahrefs to conduct thorough backlink research and check out what competitors are doing.
Don’t be afraid to repurpose old content
Most marketing departments simply don’t have time to come up with fresh and exciting content at the rate demanded by search engines. Therefore, repurposing old content is a perfectly acceptable SEO technique. It could involve:
1. Reposting on social media
Posting old content is a great way to draw in new customers who may not have viewed your content before.
2. Rewriting old content
If you’re stuck for new topics, rephrasing old content will mitigate the risks that come with duplication such as being placed lower down search engine rankings and turning customers off who have already read certain articles.
3. Create infographics
Creating infographics from old articles is a great way to spin them into something aesthetically pleasing that will attract clicks.
And finally… measure, analyze, optimize and repeat
Tracking your SEO efforts is absolutely vital to success as it will show you what you have been doing right and what you have been doing wrong. Suitable tools to track success include Google Analytics and Google Search Console.